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Curbside Recycling to Go Citywide Next Year, Mayor Says

"Managed competition" has saved taxpayers $2.2 million, city says

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Curbside Recycling to Go Citywide Next Year

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The roughly 340,000 Chicago households that don't currently have curbside recycling will have it by the end of next year, the mayor's office said Thursday.

"No longer will Chicago be a tale of two cities when it comes to recycling," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a written statement.

The expansion is possible, the mayor said, because of $2.2 million the city has saved through what the mayor has called "managed competition." The areas of the city that currently have recycling are divided into six zones. Four are serviced by by the private sector companies -- Sims Municipal Recycling and Waste Management --and two are serviced by Streets & Sanitation employees.

"Competitive bidding for recycling services has saved taxpayer money and increased efficiencies while maintaining quality service," Emanuel said, explaining that that city workers have cut their costs from $4.77 per cart to $3.28 since the tests began last fall. Private haulers charge $2.70.

That bidding process will next be used for tree trimming, currently handled by Streets & San, and street marking services, currently managed by the Chicago Department of Transportation.

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